[en] The mechanism regulating the deposition of basement membrane components (BMCs) in a polymeric structure at the junction with the connective tissues is not yet understood. Cultures and cocultures of epithelial BMC-producing cells (L2 or PER cells) and fibroblasts were prepared in several experimental conditions and the organization of BMCs was studied by immunofluorescence. The pattern of BMCs in pure cultures of L2 or pulmonary epithelial rat (PER) cells consisted of intra- and extracellular granular deposits. At very high density, the cell contours were also underlined by a disrupted network of BMC deposits. A different fibrillar plexus--containing laminin, collagen type IV, and heparan-sulfate proteoglycan resistant to deoxycholate treatment and distant from the cell membrane--was observed in cocultures of L2 or PER cells with fibroblasts. Fibrils of fibronectin and/or collagen type I were most often dissociated from this plexus of BMCs. Similar results were obtained by adding a conditioned medium of L2 or PER cells to confluent fibroblasts, even when the cells were killed. Pure laminin also bound to the fibroblast layer. A coated film of fibronectin or polymeric collagen type I was unable to bind BMC provided by a conditioned medium. It is suggested that molecule(s) synthesized by fibroblasts and deposited in the pericellular matrix are involved in the assembly of BMCs.